August 3, 2020

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"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"

Diamond in the Rough: Joseph Thomas

Joseph Thomas, 4-star linebacker, comes from the 7th ward of New Orleans and currently plays for the Edna Karr Cougars. He scores high all across our rating charts with tens in several categories from footwork to his hands to his ability to view the field. He is not only a star on the field but in the classroom as well!  Joseph scored a 20 on the ACT and earned a 3.4 GPA so he is definitely a positive role model for his teammates. He has been playing the game since he was 7 years old and was inspired to continue pursuing the game by those around him. Joseph says he took on the position of linebacker as he began playing more competitively but he now knows this is the position he was meant to be in all along.


What have you learned from playing football and how do you utilizing those things in life to try and grow or better yourself?

“Brotherhood and discipline. You know trusting people and talking to people. How I am talking to you right now like just better with communicating with other people. We do a lot of things like proper eating, travel, and even working on how to present myself.”


What qualities do you possess that make you a great teammate?

“As the team captain, I will be there if my teammates need me you know if they have a problem they can always call me. I am like a big brother so just that brotherhood.”


What is a personal and team goal for this season?

“To win week one because that is a big game. We got John Curtis so that is a tough match up since they won the championship last year. I want to go to the championship this year but really just make this team unforgettable.”


What are some aspects of your game that you have been working on to accomplish these goals?

“You know I play outside linebacker so just trying to work on my A game and my speed. I have gotten a lot faster and have been doing a lot of running.”


What is your squat, bench, and 40 time?

“I squat 495 pounds, bench 225 pounds, and I am not sure on my 40.”


How has recruiting process been?

“I got schools like Tulane, Bama, and Houston you know places like that. It has been good so far.”


What words of advice to you have for other football players trying to make it just like you?

“Be yourself and trust the process and when adversity strikes don’t ever back down. Always look to your brothers for the answer because if you are going through something chances are someone else on the team is too. The only way you will figure it out is if you talk to one another.”


Who is your biggest influence in football?

“Hmm…my teammates and Coach Bryce! Coach has done a lot for me you know growing up in a single parent household, just me and my mama, and not really having a male figure in my life and he came in and taught me a lot. You know how I am talking you right now like if you would have called my freshman year I probably wouldn’t have wanted to talk so he really helped me a lot.”


How has football help you overcome those obstacles?

“Well I wouldn’t really say it was football I would say it is my teammates. They help me with it all because they are why I never quit or gave up.”


What is your style of play?

“I would say wild. I am all over the place you know I am just everywhere on the field and ready for whoever.”


Are there any current or past players you really look up to?

“Clay Matthews, Eric Donald, and Khalil Mack because they are all aggressive and strong players.”


Do you play any other sports?

“Yeah, I play baseball. In the summer I am not really over there because I am with the football team but I try and be leader over there as well.”


Is there something that you would like our readers to know about you that they might not know?

“I don’t really know how to describe myself like that it is just one of those things when you are around me you know the type of person I am but I like to eat.”